|Publication number||US7513086 B2|
|Application number||US 11/378,419|
|Publication date||Apr 7, 2009|
|Filing date||Mar 17, 2006|
|Priority date||Mar 17, 2006|
|Also published as||US20070234673|
|Publication number||11378419, 378419, US 7513086 B2, US 7513086B2, US-B2-7513086, US7513086 B2, US7513086B2|
|Inventors||Martin Craig Helmus|
|Original Assignee||Mod-Tec, Llc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (28), Referenced by (1), Classifications (26), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates to placement and support of equipment by ceiling suspension grid systems. More specifically, the invention is directed to supplemental framing that is adapted to mount the equipment on a suspension grid system, which grid is in place in its finished condition and without disrupting the grid system. The invention may further be said to be directed to relatively heavier equipment at least insofar as relatively lighter equipment is readily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance.
Light duty ceiling grid systems and the like are known and useful for suspending various and relatively light equipment in a room, including ceiling tiles, some lighting fixtures, and some ventilation grills. Suspension frame systems include a series of parallel rail and cross rail components, which install to define a rectangular grid framework. Light duty grid frame systems and light weight equipment are relatively easily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance. Some familiar light weight equipment may include lighting fixtures, ceiling tiles, ventilation grills, and the like. One who installs the relatively light equipment into a ceiling grid system may place and replace ceiling grid rail and cross rail components relatively easily while also manipulating the subject equipment into an installed position.
Relatively heavy mechanical units, including fans, filters, large lighting fixtures, and the like, are inherently more difficult to place and manipulate merely by their mass and physical size. The handling and placement of these cumbersome units includes an increase of risk for injury to the installer and risk of damage to the equipment. Thus, one may understand that a simplification of the installation of the heavier mechanical units is desirable and needed to reduce injury risk
Accordingly, a fan filter mounting frame of the invention simplifies installation of heavier equipment with suspension grid systems by allowing the grid system to be in its design position or condition prior to placement of the equipment. Further, the equipment is placed without disturbing or manipulating the suspension grid system. The equipment is in part supported directly by the grid system and is in part supported indirectly by the grid system through an adapting frame insert. The adapting frame insert is connected between the equipment and the suspension grid system.
In one aspect of the invention, the insert has two legs that meet at an apex, with a first leg extending along a first suspension grid system rail or cross rail and a second leg extending along an adjacent second suspension grid system cross rail or rail. Each of the two legs further extends between its respective rail and the equipment, supporting the equipment on the respective suspension grid rails and cross rails.
These and other features and benefits of the invention will be recognized by one having ordinary skill in the art and by those who practice the invention, from this disclosure, including the specification, the claims, and the drawing figures.
Exemplary embodiments of preferred fan filter mounting frames according to the invention are generally shown in the drawing figures and discussed below. More specifically, a first alternative embodiment of the inventive concept is shown in the drawing at
Various ceiling suspension grid systems 100 and the like are known and useful for suspending mechanical units 200, including fans, filters, lighting, and the like, as is known by one having ordinary skill in the art. Suspension frame systems typically include a series of parallel rails 102 and cross rails 104 (
A casual observer may be most familiar with relatively light duty suspension frame grid systems that are commonly found in offices and homes and the like as suspended ceilings. With regard to light weight equipment components such as acoustical ceiling tiles, some lighting fixtures, and some ventilation grills, the various components may be selectively sequentially placed so the tiles, fixtures, or grills may be modularly sized and rest directly upon suspension grid rails and cross rails. As noted above, the components of each of the suspended ceiling and the equipment are relatively easily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance. Thus, the light weight components of each of the ceiling system and the equipment may be selectively sequentially manipulated and placed with relative ease.
One having ordinary skill in the art is also familiar with heavier duty suspended grid frame systems that support heavier equipment units 200, including ventilation air moving and conditioning equipment, for example, which may commonly be excessively heavy for convenient manipulation, handling, or placement by an installer or service person. The size or weight of heavier equipment components preclude easy or convenient manipulation of the heavy equipment near an installed position, while suspension frame rail components are selectively removed, positioned, or replaced. Thus, an alternative and safer situation with regard to heavy equipment placement is desired and provided by the invention, in which the suspension frame grid frame system 100 may preferably be undisturbed in its finished design condition; the suspension frame grid and the heavy equipment unit are compatibly sized so the equipment unit slips through a selected cell of the grid, between the rails 102 and cross rails 104 that define the cell; spacers, or inserts, 300 are adapted to insert between the equipment and the grid frame rails and cross rails.
More specifically, the grid rails 102 are commonly spaced and define an uniform or modular opening length 106, while the grid cross rails 104 are spaced and define an uniform or modular opening width 108, for example, of each cell. The cooperating equipment 200 has a housing, a mounting frame, or other outside dimensions that are slightly smaller than the suspension grid opening length and width. Thus, the equipment may slip fit through the suspension grid opening of a pre-selected cell without disturbing the grid frame (
Once through the grid frame opening, the equipment may be positioned into a selected corner of the grid cell, which is commonly defined by a rail 102 and an adjacent cross rail 104. The equipment unit is set to rest upon rail and cross rail support surfaces 106 of the frame components that define the selected corner (
As is generally shown in the drawing and known in the art, the rails 102 and cross rails 104 of the suspension grid frame 100 commonly define modular uniform cells that are typically rectangular and may include the special geometry of the equilateral rectangle that is known as a square. Thus, the geometry of each cell includes having four corners and having 180 degree rotation symmetry. The square is noted to have 90 degree rotation symmetry as well. Thus, the particular corner of the grid cell that is chosen for supporting the unit 200 as disclosed above is substantially immaterial relative to the invention because the inherent symmetries of the geometry of the rectangular cell. Placement of the unit 200 in a selected corner of the cell leaves a gap between the equipment and the diagonally opposing cell corner, including the adjacent rail and cross rail 102 and 104 that define the opposing cell corner.
The adapting spacers 300, including legs or discrete inserts 302 and 304, of the invention come into play to bridge the gaps between the unit 200 and the adjoining rail and cross rail. The adapting spacers are configured to interconnect between the equipment 200 and the frame rail 102 and cross rail 104, providing support surfaces for two adjacent sides of the equipment that are not supported by the diagonally opposing grid frame rail and cross rail. As shown, the inserts 302 and 304 may be adapted with and abut at mitered ends (
In an optional alternative, ended inserts 306 and 308 may meet in the corner at a simple butt joint 124 (
The various inserts 302-306 are preferably clamped with their respective rail 102 and cross rail 104. Thus, a clamp 400 that cooperates with the grid rails and cross rails may be provided and fasten the adapting spacers to the grid rails, supporting the equipment (
For various structural and other design consideration, the insert 300 may preferably include a stiffening or locking rib 316 along leg 312, that may key into a cooperating groove 116 in the rail stem 114 (
Various of the rails or cross rails may optionally be adapted to cooperate with a lighting fixture or the like (
In a second alternative embodiment of an example of the invention, the suspension frame grid rails and cross rails (either 130) may have a modified T-section that is adapted with a flange 136 to cooperate with a modified spacer 330 (
The insert 330 includes a generally horizontal leg 334 that extends along and beyond the T-rail flange 132, from the stem 134, to support the unit 200. An offset outer end 335 of leg 334 positions the support surface of leg 334 at the same plane as flanges 132 of T-rails 130. The insert 330 may be said to be a modification of the insert 300 in that the insert 300 leg 312 is foreshortened to the insert 330 leg 332. The leg 332 interconnects with the flange 136 and seats in the groove 138 in interlocking engagement. The leg 332 may preferably be configured with a grooved terminal end as shown, which grooved terminal enhancing alignment, placement, and stability of the insert 330.
An advantage of the insert 330 having the lip or leg 332 instead of the short leg 312 is that the stem 134 of the suspension frame rail may be relatively shorter. The shorter stem 134 has various architectural and structural advantages, including requiring less overhead space and requiring less material in fabrication.
The modified rail 130 may optionally be adapted to include incorporation of a lighting fixture (
In a third alternative configuration of the invention, adapting spacers or inserts 360 are structurally secured with the equipment 200, rather than with the suspension frame grid rail 160 (
The insert 360 has a bight portion 362 with generally parallel legs 364 and 366 extending in the same direction, upward as shown, from opposite edges of the bight portion 302. The leg 364 is captured in the groove 234 in the example. The insert 360 so positioned, extends to overlay the flange 112 of the respective rail 100, with the bight portion 362 and leg 366. As discussed above relative to the spacer 300 of the first alternative embodiment, the spacer 360 may be one piece with two legs that extend along adjacent lengths of rail 102 and cross rail 104, and may also be implemented as two inserts that abut at a common corner of a suspension grid frame cell. The legs of the insert 360 may meet at a mitered corner as shown and may alternatively meet at a simple butt joint as noted above regarding the insert 300.
Various rails or cross rails may optionally be adapted to cooperate with a lighting fixture or the like (
One having ordinary skill in the art and those who practice the invention will understand from this disclosure that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the spirit of the disclosed inventive concept. One will also understand that various relational terms, including left, right, front, back, top, and bottom, for example, are used in the detailed description of the invention and in the claims only to convey relative positioning of various elements of the claimed invention.
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|U.S. Classification||52/745.05, 454/187, 52/506.07, 52/39, 52/506.09, 52/506.06, 52/506.08, 52/506.1|
|International Classification||G09F7/18, E04B5/00, E04B2/00, E04B1/00, E04G21/00, B01L1/04, E04B9/00, E04G23/00|
|Cooperative Classification||E04B9/064, F24F13/28, E04B9/241, E04B9/02, E04B9/006|
|European Classification||E04B9/00D, E04B9/24B, F24F13/28, E04B9/02, E04B9/06E|
|Dec 14, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MOD-TEC, LLC, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HELMUS, MARTIN CRAIG;REEL/FRAME:027383/0502
Effective date: 20111213
|Sep 28, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 20, 2016||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8